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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, after much hunting I have just bought a Tissot Seatstar on ebay. The plan is to push it into service as my eveyday watch, and maybe the start of a bigger collection.

Its identical to this: https://www.watchuseek.com/f11/new-tissot-arrival-523127.html

It looks as though it will need some TLC but hopefully nothing major, it was sold as working, but appears to have wear and tear on the glass and case as you'd expect. Hopefully with some effort it will come up like the one above (does anyone know if that was new or refurbed? it looks stunning)

Thought I would start a thread to keep you posted as get it serviced and select the strap, and also to find out a little more about it and hopefully get some advice on finding out about it and getting it restored.

Whats the significance of the T.12 text?

Thanks!
 

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Hi there MrPongo,

Glad that the watch has arrived safely - you know we are all looking forward to the pics...

Well it's arrived and it's in great nick for its age, and is already at a jewellers for a service and new strap.

can anyone tell me any more about it?
The original thread you linked into was by a member called JohnnyMonkey and he really knows his way around vintage Tissots. In recent times he has been more active on the Vintage forum than here.

With any luck your watch maker will note down the serial number from the movement so you can accurately date the watch against Eeeb's Tissot serial numbers by year (found here). If yours is also from 1957 the serial number should fall between 3714000 and 3999999.

Movement:
If it is the same as JohnnyMonkey's - it will have the 17 jewelled Tissot 28.5R-21 movement described by Roland Ranfft as manufactured between 1952-62 (details found here)

Series:
Though I am unclear on the origin of T.12 - it wouldn't take a huge leap to guess that the T = Tissot.

One of the features that has become synonymous with the T.12 line of watches has been the Spanish Galleon caseback that appeared on 1960+ models. It can be seen here from Louis111



...and on this short video by Simbolon172:


I guess one of the interesting things to note is how the Tissot font/logo rapidly evolved over this period. Compare the following four T.12 Automatic Seastars':






Looking forward to your next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow! Thanks, great reply.


It sounds like I really need all the numbers off the moment to find out much more.


interestingly the face has the scripted tissot as per the one in the thread, but the crown has the -T- on it as per the second example.


im relieved that it's in good nick without any major blemishes. It seemed to run fine when I wound it up, which is a testament to tissot as the seller said it had spent 40yrs in a drawer. It's always a gamble on ebay, especially for me as I'm not an expert on these things - but I do at least know to avoid the Indian sellers!


unfortunately I won't see it now for a month or so, as my mother saw it and as I'm so difficult to buy for said she would have it sorted for me for Christmas.

The rotor clicks as it winds, i assume this is either some kind of ratchet so it only winds in one direction or is that actual winding process it's self? I have another automatic which is totally silent, so this intrigued me.

It does have a galleon on the back, but it's not as 3D as the example, it's a flat back with the galleon pressed/printed/engraved into it. Not deeply either, as it's faint from wear.

I have read somewhere that the T.12 is to do with the weatherproof-ness. The lime on the hands is a good shout too. Will keep looking into this one, maybe ask in the vintage section too.

Thanks again for your replys, really informative.
 

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Glad to help MrPongo,

It sounds like I really need all the numbers off the moment to find out much more.

interestingly the face has the scripted tissot as per the one in the thread, but the crown has the -T- on it as per the second example.

The rotor clicks as it winds, i assume this is either some kind of ratchet so it only winds in one direction or is that actual winding process it's self? I have another automatic which is totally silent, so this intrigued me.

It does have a galleon on the back, but it's not as 3D as the example, it's a flat back with the galleon pressed/printed/engraved into it. Not deeply either, as it's faint from wear.

I have read somewhere that the T.12 is to do with the weatherproof-ness. The lime on the hands is a good shout too. Will keep looking into this one, maybe ask in the vintage section too.
Serial number
Yes - the serial numbers on Tissot movements are a key method of dating the watches. Other brands have used far more disciplined methods of recording and releasing watches. Many of the top-end watches have a strong and complete history of catalogues to refer to as well. Once you have the serial number you may also consider emailing Tissot to request more information - it doesn't always work out - but earlier this year T12 got in contact with a helpful researcher and you can read the full story of his 1971 Tissot T.12 Automatic (794 movement) here.

Crown
Although the face of your watch may show the sweeping "T" form of the Tissot font, this was never on the crowns (as you will admit the word is too large). The "-T-" that you have is completely appropriate for the watch. In the 80's the letter on the crowns lost the strike through and became "T" and from somewhere in the 90's Tissot crowns started using a non-serif, wide-"T"

Crowns are one of the most fragile parts of vintage watches and are the most likely to get lost, broken, damaged or need replacing. In the pre-internet days, a watch maker may not have had access to a "genuine" crown and in most cases - any fix would do. It is not unusual for older watches to have blank "no logo" crowns.

Winding
Most automatics have the capacity to be hand wound - and - motion wound. Hand winding is the most direct way of winding "energy" into the mainspring. Once this is done, the movement of the wrist throughout the day is expected to replace some of the energy lost as the spring winds down. The clicking is as the mainspring is wound, with as you say, a ratchet that prevents it immediately unwinding again.

Galleon
Thought to be a link to the "Navigator" series or the concept of exploring the world, the Spanish Galleon is an interesting - perhaps escapist - image to come out of land-locked Switzerland. The flatness of your caseback may be a function of a lot of wrist-time, or more likely, intense polishing. This has probably worn it down. It would be great to see a pic when you get it back.

Weatherproof-ness
The "Seastar" name has been explicitly linked in advertising and catalogues with the enhanced waterproof nature of this line of watches. There is a direct link between "Sea" and waterproof. The 1964 catalogue states:

Tissot Seastar Waterproof Watches.
The active man who wants a watch he can trust under all conditions should choose a Tissot Seastar. All Seastar models are waterproof, shock resistant and anti-magnetic.

My guess is that the T.12 is actually a reference to the "self -winding" nature of the T.12 Automatics and the potential 12+ hour power reserve that would enable the watch to still be holding time in the morning.

Vintage
I whole-heartedly support you seeking further guidance in the Vintage and Pocket Watches forum as those guys are without a doubt world experts in the field. I also think (once you collect a little more info like the movement serial number and inside caseback number) that you should drop Tissot an email and see what their records may be able to tell you. You never know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well, its been to the jewlers who quoted £150 to 200 to service it, which I kind of expected to be honest. They also said that as its working fine not to be too worried, so Im going to use it and see how well it keeps time. Its a shame that the work isnt cost effective given the value of the watch (unless Im mistaken with its value). My plan is to polish it up myself, so once I have it (christmas) I'll be asking questions regarding polishing the stainless body and the perspex type lens.

How easy is it to take the back off? Is this somthing I should get a jeweler to do? Im assuming I need to buy the correct tools.

Wondering if I should move this into hte watch makers section.

Im glad that the crown etc sounds to be correct. Never realised it could be manually wound.

The Galleon on the back is made formed in a different way to the one above, will sort pictures as soon as I can. It does look to have been worn away, but its not as formed as the other galleons.
 

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Nice choice MrPongo.

I use Brasso (a liquid metal polish) to polish lightly scratched acrylic crystals. Takes some time and elbow grease - especially if the scratches are a little deeper. A little liquid on a folded tissue. Wipe it on the crystal and let the fluid dry cloudy. Rub the tissue in a circular motion. Repeat and repeat until you're happy. There are probably better products out there but this has worked for me.

Best of luck and don't forget the photos when it comes in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice choice MrPongo.

I use Brasso (a liquid metal polish) to polish lightly scratched acrylic crystals. Takes some time and elbow grease - especially if the scratches are a little deeper. A little liquid on a folded tissue. Wipe it on the crystal and let the fluid dry cloudy. Rub the tissue in a circular motion. Repeat and repeat until you're happy. There are probably better products out there but this has worked for me.

Best of luck and don't forget the photos when it comes in.
Thanks, Ive been reading up and have been pleasantly suprised by how straight forward it appears, so am keen to give it a go.

Will definitely sort photos when I get it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Well I've got it, and its brilliant. Really pleased with it.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap


The tissot script is slightly different to the one in the thread I linked in my first post, and the face appears a slightly different colour. The Tissot text is like all one peice, rather than invidiual letters on the first one. Ive used brasso on the acrylic and its come up really well. the case needs a polish so I may pop the strap off and give it a good polishing.

It seems to be keeping time perfectly, maybe gaining 30 seconds a day. Picture also showing the galleon on the back, which is unlike any others Ive seen on the internet.

Watch Strap Fashion accessory Glass Metal


Will sort some better photos out. Maybe work out how to take the back out.
 

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Glad you bought it, im the owenr of the one shown in the video, well i made the video :) Great watch i use it in the city, if i go to the farm, to play sports o whatever it could scratch the watch. I have a Casio G-shock for those situations (also shown in a video. I made a small scratch to the cristal (not to noticeable) last year :( so now the old Tissot is used to go arround the city :)
 
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